Sure, the lens-shaped coffee mug (which is definitely on this list for sh*ts and giggles) is a great novelty gift for photographers. Hundreds of people love it, but there are a few serious photographers who’d take offense to it. (And rightfully so, I mean if they’ve been working on their craft for a decade and all you got them was a measly coffee cup, shame on you.) The point here is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of gifts out there for your photographer friends and family members — the professionals, amateurs, and the Instagram-obsessed. To aid in your search, we’ve scoured the internet to find the perfect gifts for photographers of every skill level. It’ll be up to you to choose their final gift, of course. But we thought you’d appreciate the help. (So, choose wisely.) Here are some must-have gifts for photographers.
The Best Gifts for Photographers
While this isn’t a super-technical gift, it’s affordable and useful (especially during cold, winter months). If your photog friend is also a coffee lover, consider gifting this Canon lookalike Camera Lens Coffee Thermos by Chasing Y. It’s perfect for travel (including camping, road trips, and sports events) and includes its very own coffee spoon.
“I saw this while browsing, and at first I thought it was a real lens (until I saw the price),” one Amazon reviewer writes. “I clicked, and had to laugh because it incorporated my husband’s two loves — coffee and photography! I got it for him as part of his Christmas gifts, and he loves it. The designer did an excellent job with this. It looks real at first glance, and the raised areas make it very easy to hold. We laughed when he opened it, and it has become one of his favorite mugs.”
Perfect for young aspiring photographers, this photography idea card deck includes 72 cards, each of which lists a different photography theme or challenge and a special hashtag so your favorite photographer can post their photos on social media.
“I bought these for my young teenage daughter who is just getting into photography,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “She has taken a short course at school and is wanting to do more. These cards offer a great variety of things to photograph, some that would be relatively quick to accomplish (to keep her shooting routinely), and some that are more complex and could take some time to either find or create (a recreation from a movie frame, decay). Some also include techniques that newer photographers would have to learn about, and more seasoned photographers could revisit (bokeh, using unusual light sources like a computer screen, long exposure). The cards are true to their representation and are similar to playing cards in quality and feel. I am very happy with this purchase.”
You don’t need expensive equipment to get into photography. In fact, many want-to-be photographers and professionals alike have chosen to ditch DSLRs in favor of their iPhone (AKA iPhoneography).
Compatible with most mobile phones, including iPhones, Samsung, and Google phones, this lens accessory will provide your photographer friend with everything they need for travel shots, close-ups, birthday parties, weddings, Insta-worthy photos, and more. This lens kit also includes an easy-to-carry portable case.
“I was very skeptical about buying these lenses because I love my DSLR and thought nothing would replace it,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “But I was wrong and don’t have to lug it along anymore. These lenses do the job very well. I believe these are the future and DSLR cameras will be history soon.” That is a very bold statement indeed.
This Instant Print camera is perfect for photographers at any level — especially if they’re fans of instant gratification. This has cool features like zero-ink technology and a built-in printer.
Crafted with the very same crystal that’s used for camera lenses, the Original Lensball Pro is the perfect gift for both beginner and seasoned photographers. What’s more? Lensball works with professional cameras and smartphones, so anyone (whether they have a phone or a high-end camera) can create a photographic work of art.
“This LensBall lives up to its reputation,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “It was packaged very nicely in a cushioned box with the included protective pouch and their literature cards and decal. Optically, it is excellent. I am sure there are other non-Lensball brands out there for less but for the few dollars more I know I’ve gotten quality with a company that stands behind what they sell. For those who are new to lens balls…YES be careful with them in the Sun. They do get hot and they can start a fire. I also HIGHLY recommend getting the LensBall Stand.”
This is more of a stocking-stuffer kind of gift, but a cute (and eco-friendly) gift nonetheless. Ideal for traveling photographers, these clip-on, refillable, and recyclable hand sanitizer sprays by OLIKA are perfect for photographers who are always on the go. They’re also available in five scents, including a fragrance-free option, Charcoal, Cucumber Basil, Lavender, and Mint Citrus.
Beyond being cute and affordable, these tiny gifts will keep your friends and loved ones safe while they’re out and on the job. And, thanks to the aloe vera and aromatherapeutic all-natural essential oils, they won’t have to worry about getting cracked or dry hands.
I’m not a photographer, but even I’m a little excited about this one. This portable Photo Studio Light Box allows photographers to shoot products, food, etc. easily. Plus, with an adjustable brightness (120 LED lamps), your friends will have the option to start an e-commerce store as soon as they open the box. (Or, you know, shoot photos for one.) It’s also equipped with a hook-and-look design, so it can be transported from shoot to shoot with ease. (It’s basically a miniature studio in the shape of a small box.) All you have to do is fold it up and pop it in its storage bag.
“This kit is awesome, I honestly can’t think of any faults as long as your object you are photographing is a smaller product,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “The LED lights in the top of this kit are what sell it for me, it only takes one light to get the shots I got, and it’s a light that is already built into the booth, that is the biggest win for me easily hands down.”
With more than 1,900 five-star reviews, adding this gift to the list was a no-brainer. This five-in-one Photography Reflector Light Reflector Kit comes with one translucent panel with four color covers (gold, silver, white, and black) that provide five photography effects.
“Very useful to have, especially if you shoot photos of people outside,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “I love that these are easy to pop open and lightweight so that they don’t add a lot of weight to my equipment bag. They’re also pretty small, about nine inches across. I’m not a professional photographer — I’d probably say I’m a really good amateur — so I can’t say whether these are professional quality. But for the price, they are a great addition to my kit and really make it easy to add some reflective light when I’m shooting people shots.”
This Professional video Light Wand by UYLED is waterproof, rechargeable, and offers eight color temperatures and four common scene lighting simulation modes, including lightning mode, gradient color mode, breathing light mode, and police car mode. It also comes with a remote control, USB cable, and two lanyards.
“Great quality and ABSOLUTELY stepped up my self shooting game!” one Amazon reviewer writes. “I’ve been having an absolute blast ‘playing’ with this and taking some wonderful photos at home. It’s really helped me want to grow as a self-shooting photographer.”
Gift your photog friend with the ultimate camera bag. This book bag has a compartment for literally everything, including a laptop, tripod, and DSLR camera. Made from ballistic nylon, this bag is water resistant and is easy to clean. To save on interior space for other equipment, there’s a tripod strap located on the outside of the bag. This way, your photographer can edit their footage while traveling. What’s more? It comes with a built-in USB charging port.
“Love this bag!” one Amazon reviewer writes. “It holds all my equipment, is comfortable to wear and looks great. Keeps all my equipment safe and secure. Great quality, super durable and easy to wipe clean. Would definitely recommend it.”
This scanner brings “old school” photography to 2021: You can create film in JPEG form in seconds, as it turns old 35mm, 126, 110, Super 8 & 8mm Negatives & Slides into digital formats. This is perfect for the photographer who appreciates the art and form of the craft, but still want to have modern options.
This is the perfect gift for photographers who are interested in shooting products or food. The speed range of this 360 degree turntable is 20 to 68 seconds (24 seconds per circle). It also supports two rotation modes: Continuous rotation and intermittent rotation. It’s also portable.
“I do a little product photography and videography, and this turntable does the perfect job,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “The speed is very consistent and I can put a product that weights 10lb with no problem (and that’s the maximum weight of the products that I shoot, I’m sure it can take heavier).”
Give your photographer the power to create bright and beautiful rainbows with this photography prism by Optickle. It’s six inches long, lightweight, and both easy and comfortable to hold, making travel shoots a breeze.
“This came in the mail in pristine condition,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “I use it for photography, and I have to say, it REALLY adds some cool flare to my photos. I love it! It’s a little something special. Also, when I had a concern, I emailed the company and they were very fast in responding and addressing the issue. I would definitely order from this company again.”
The VL-81 LED video light includes 81 beads (41 white light beads and 40 warm light beads). The charging time for this light is three hours; maximum brightness output is up to 150 minutes and minimum brightness output is up to 480 minutes. It’s compatible with Sony, Canon, and Nikon, among other brands.
“I love video lights, and this one is no exception,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “The Vijim VL-81 is extremely lightweight, has a pretty high output for its size, is bi-color, comes with built-in hot-shoe mount, is USB-C rechargeable (with built in battery), and has cold-shoe mounts on three sides.”
Make photoshoots easier with this adjustable photography backdrop support system. The kit includes two support stands, two cross bars, four spring clamps, and one heavy-duty carrying case. It’s also lightweight, portable, and easy to set up.
“I needed this to hang backdrops at my dog wash for customers to take pictures of their dogs,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “It was super easy to assemble and super easy to adjust the size. It came with 4 clamps which was perfect. I thought I’d need to order more but they were enough. It also comes with a nice travel bag if you are taking it to conventions. Just three parts, basically, to throw together. Easy peasy!”
This photography lighting kit includes one G1s video light, one adjustable stand, one portable carrying bag, and one Type-C charging cable. With a built-in 360 degree rotatable arm and cold shoe slot, you can mount the light on just about any device. It’s lightweight and also super-compact for easy transportation. This photography lighting kit includes one G1s video light, one adjustable stand, one portable carrying bag, and one Type-C charging cable. With a built-in 360 degree rotatable arm and cold shoe slot, you can mount the light on just about any device. It’s lightweight and also super-compact for easy transportation.
“Love this light!” one Amazon reviewer writes. “If you’re like me, you value portability and ease of use when it comes to shooting photos or creating videos. With this product you get a very powerful light at a very convenient size that barely takes up any room in your bag, you can even fit it in your back pocket if you need to. The battery has a pretty long life, while doing a time-lapse last night I had it at about 50% power and in about four to five hours it only lost around 25% battery. The effects that this light has are awesome for shooting creative videos and replicating certain ambient lighting you see in life, like phone screens, candle light, and emergency vehicle lights.”
Made with 480 (240 white and 240 yellow) LED long-lasting bulbs and a U-mount bracket, this light gives photographers the ability to adjust the lighting angle depending on the shooting environment. It also includes an AC adapter and carrying bag. It can be placed directly on the ground, desk, or light stand.
“I have to say…these are amazing lights for the money, and have become the main lights we use in our studio builds,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “They are very sturdy builds, and light very well. I love that you can go between warm and cool temps. I like to mix those up a bit. You can also power them with batteries for remote shoots. I HIGHLY recommend these lights. We live stream professionally, and these are professional grade lights!”
Any aspiring photographer can take nearly professional-looking photos with this 11-in-one lens kit. Compatible with almost any smartphone, this lens kit has everything you need to take amazing photos, including a universal detachable clamp.
“Ordered this for an upcoming trip and tested it out beforehand…amazing,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “The pictures come out really clear and don’t have the ‘black frame’ around the edges as some lenses do. Placement of the clip is a bit tricky initially but once in, you don’t have to worry about moving it around. The case is VERY good quality and with a carabiner it clips on great. Lens are secured very nicely within so don’t have to worry about damages. Recommending it to all my friends!”
With nearly 14,000 five-star reviews, I couldn’t leave this camera bag off the list. Hundreds of reviewers say this bag is “well designed,” “easy to transport,” and can “hold a lot of stuff.” That’s all you can ask for in a bag, right?
“I received this bag today, and I really like it!” one Amazon reviewer writes. “It’s smaller than I had expected, but it fits just as much as I expected a larger bag to fit! There’s room for my DSLR camera (Canon 70D), two lenses, a shotgun mic, a pretty large hot shoe mount LED video light, and five LP-E6 battery packs. There’s also room in the front deep zippered pocket for a 13-inch laptop computer, and several smaller spaces for other doodads and personal items. I also like that the inner zipper pull tabs have protective flaps so they won’t scratch your equipment.”
Available in three colors (Dark Brown, Buckskin, and Saddle), this handcrafted leather photo book makes for a thoughtful (and affordable) gift. It can hold up to 100 4”x 6”photos and features a unique, tie flap closure.
“This thing holds one hundred freaking 4×6 photos,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “One hundred??? And houses them comfortably. And looks terrific while doing so. I’ve filled this bad boy entirely and have many extra photos placed behind others and it still doesn’t feel bulky or uncomfortable. It was around $30 at time of purchase and I paid Shutterfly about $12 for 100 4×6 prints to fill it up. Not bad at all for such an exquisite and priceless gift. Best I found on Amazon by far. If they end up adding other colors, I’d like to buy those too.”
A good photographer could always use a reliable cleaning kit. This kit includes an air blower, one double-sided lens cleaning pen, one brush, one empty reusable spray bottle, one 50-sheet pack of lens tissues, and five microfiber cleaning cloths.
“I think this is a great starter kit for anyone, I used it to get dust off my sensor with the air duster included and it worked flawlessly,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “The wipes are soft and clean the lenses perfectly and you get quite a few of them. The brush worked well and got into spaces I couldn’t otherwise get dust from on my lenses. All and all I have no complaints this is an excellent starter kit for anyone. The pouch is resealable and fits in my camera bag so I can take it everywhere!”
If your friend already has a GoPro (or you know that their family member is going to buy them one), go one step further and give them a waterproof housing case. This special case features a waterproof sealing ring and tight buckle to prevent leakage (it’s good for underwater activity up to 147 feet deep).
“This case is awesome!” one Amazon reviewer writes. “Fits my GoPro Hero 6 Black like a glove! The housing feels very durable and has a nice seal on the back to keep the water out!! The buttons are very responsive and the lens cover is [a bonus]. I would definitely recommend this case to anyone wanting to take their GoPro with them under water!”
Gift your photographer with a top-notch tablet. This Deco Pro Small Graphics Drawing Tablet features eight responsive shortcut keys and can handle up to 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, providing users with precise control and accuracy.
“I LOVE that this thing is backlit, great when drawing into the evening,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “Tried the deco app with android drawing functionality, worked like a breeze (and surprisingly full featured for a free mobile drawing app, who knew?). Verified this works with Clip Studio and Adobe, and the per app button customization is a breeze and helpful.”
This Selfie Ring Light makes a great gift for aspiring influencers, vloggers, and makeup lovers. The kit includes a 10” ring light, stand tripod, flexible phone holder, tripod mount phone holder, Bluetooth remote control, camera remote, and soft pouch. With three lighting modes and eight adjustable brightnesses, your photog friend will be Insta-famous by the end of the week.
“I’ve got to say that I am REALLY happy with this ring light,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “In fact, it’s the best one I’ve worked with so far! It has a variety of options to choose from as far as lighting goes and this gives you a lot you can work with. I really like the effects it gives you. I do weekly videos as well as a lot of still work and this light is working really well for me. The bracket holds my Pixel 3xl firmly in place and the stand does its job quite well also. The remote is responsive and moves easily through all the needed options.”
DSLR Cheat Sheet Cards for Canon, Nikon and Sony CamerasDSLR Cheat Sheet Cards for Canon, Nikon and Sony Cameras
Get your budding photographer a cheat sheet. This set of cards includes 20 pages of photography tips printed on double-sided plastic, pocket-sized cards. The info provided is concise and suitable for any Canon, Nikon, or Sony brand DSLR camera.
“These cards are so helpful,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “I’ve done photography in the past but it’s been awhile and I’ve forgotten a lot of stuff. So after getting a new camera I wanted a good reference guide for taking better pictures in manual mode and found this gem. Everything is so well organized and easy to understand and quick to access if you’re having trouble in one area. I think the thing I like best about it is the size and portability.”
Equipped with an Electronic Image Stabilization anti-shaking function, this camera is ideal for photographers who shoot sports events. It also comes with a wireless 2.4G remote, making it easy to stop or start filming with the click of a button. The Wi-Fi and app capabilities also make it possible to download and share videos and photos online instantly.
“The video quality is amazing,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “I’ve done several videos now in the water, both above and below the water and the quality is amazing. The camera itself fits in the palm of your hand with the waterproof case on. It comes with a nice carrying case with a handful of accessories.”
Available in 15 different colors, this camera-and-case combo is the ultimate gift for young photographers. It comes with one Tiessic Instax Mini 11, one carrying case, one mini photo album (holds 64 photos), one rainbow shoulder strap, two hanging picture frames, one close-up lens for selfies, four colorful filters, one table picture frame, two stickers, six PVC photo stickers, one desk calendar frame, one lens cloth, and one pen. What a bundle!
“Adorable, well-made case,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “Fits my niece’s instax mini perfect! It is durable and has good padding to protect the camera. We haven’t had it long, but I suspect it will hold up for a long time!”
This gift isn’t fancy, but it is useful. And with 27,000+ reviews, it’s hard to imagine a photographer wouldn’t want this gift. These top-notch cloths are available in packs of two, six, 13, and 30.
“My adult son bought an expensive DLSR camera and I asked if he needed anything to go with it,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “He had everything major but did need some lens cleaning cloths. I told him to pick some out and I would buy them for him (for no reason other than I am his mom). He looked for quite a while and these are the ones he chose. He especially liked the gray one because it helps with his photography in getting the right white balance as well as cleans his lenses. The black ones are great too for anything that needs a soft microfiber cloth. He gave me two black ones and I use them on my phone, TV, glasses, and many other things. They work great.”
Give your friends the ability to shoot National Geographic-quality photos and videos with this universal cell phone adapter mount by Gosky. It’s compatible with a microscope, telescope, binoculars, a monocular, and most night vision spotting scopes.
“Don’t bother spending more on other adapters, this one is very well constructed with precise controls for the phone grip and lens grip,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “Both are padded and hold securely without jiggling around while you are moving the telescope. It is very easy to align the phone camera and there is enough room to move the bracket up or down the lens about a quarter inch if needed for picture width. The frame is metal, so there is no worry of it flexing or breaking. Very sturdy and quality feel. Hard to believe it is so much cheaper than the other options of which many seem less elegant of a solution.”
This gift is a twofer. It’s a selfie stick and a tripod all-in-one. Perfect for selfies, group photos, or adventure shots, this nifty piece of equipment is compatible with iPhone and Android devices.
“Best. Purchase. Ever!” one Amazon reviewer writes. “I’m a big solo traveler and I have to tell you, this is the best investment I’ve ever made. One of the toughest things about going alone is that you rarely have photos of yourself in all these amazing places. Or, you have to awkwardly ask strangers to take your photo (and, if you’re a photographic stickler like me, you’ll likely be disappointed with the way the photo is taken because of angles, lighting, or general composition of the shot). This Fugetek product has changed EVERYTHING! I bought this just before I took a road trip through the southwest United States and was worried I’d have no one to help take photos in such remote areas. (Which I was right about!) But luckily it didn’t matter because I had this little guy with me.”